Debt can seem like a bigger problem than it appears at first. For many people struggling with debt solutions, cutting down on monthly outgoings could make all the difference. Whether you're worried that you're spending too much and could run into trouble down the line, or you're already missing payments, taking steps now to cut spending can only help.
It may sound simple, but how many of us actually consider how much we spend on food and other necessities each month? It’s one of the biggest outgoings yet we still just chuck things in the trolley. Establishing a realistic budget for your food shop each month could help a lot. Many people will find that just by setting an amount and sticking to it they can significantly cut their spending.
Top tip: Avoid those little top-up shops during the week at convenience stores that quickly add up.
Bills seem like a fixed outgoing, but you can make a real dent in these if you’re careful and a little bit clever. If you’re struggling to meet credit card payments it may not be wise to fork out for a brand new set of windows and doors, so be realistic about what you can do.
Something simple like keeping doors closed and using a draught excluder could help a lot. According to the Energy Saving Trust, draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you up to £50 per year. And because you can turn down your thermostat you can save another ten per cent off your heating bill. It may not sound a lot, but it all adds up.
Top tip: Avoid leaving appliances on standby – it can use about 70 per cent of the electricity it takes to run on fully.
Cutting back on socialising is an obvious financial win. We’re not suggesting you become a recluse, but it’s amazing how many people find an extra £50-£100 a month in their back pocket just by going out once a week instead of twice.
Top tip: use voucher codes to get the best deal on restaurants – you could save a packet and still get to enjoy meals out.
Do you actually make full use of your £50 a month gym membership? If not it could be time to cancel it and save the money. Even if you are hitting the running machines three times a week, when money is tight it could pay to think about exercise that’s free, like jogging.
Top tip: Go through your bank statements and add up all the little memberships you pay out for each month – the total could surprise you.
It’s hard to reduce your spending on your commute, but it’s not impossible. Consider whether working from home for one or two days a week could be an option. The saving on petrol could be significant. And if your journey is not too far, why not walk or cycle?
Top tip: Make sure you service your car regularly and generally take good care of it to reduce the chances of a big repair bill.